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A Challenge to the Duel: Socializing Dedicated Virtual Reality Fans to the Ideology of Textualism
Unformatted Document Text:  A Challenge to the Duel 14 Capet’s laughter sounded hollow. "I’ll catch it on the replay. I warned him that you Capellan bastards are sneaky." Justin nodded. "That we are, Capet, but you’ll never understand the true depth of our brilliance in that department." 14 Then Justin engages Philip Capet in battle. Here Justin is initiating verbal contact with his opponent before the battle. Justin respects the ability of his opponent. He lures Capet out of hiding through speech. This allows him to sneak up on his opponent and score a victory. The verbal duel is always followed by an encounter on the battlefield. Smack has a dialogic quality to it in that it allows players to show their knowledge of other texts, produce speech that conforms to the verbal genre, and relate the talk to the combat genre in the BattleTech product line. Players have to make their verbal duels fit to the other voices they have experienced in their socialization as pilots. Virtual World encourages smack talk. The company condones it, uses it to attract attention and trains pilots through example. For instance, Virtual World advertises smack talk as an asset on its Red Planet forum on the Internet: "Use the Forum to talk smack, set up games with local players, or share a Martian Football game plan." 15 Moreover, pilots who have been initiated into the ways of BattleTech recognize it as a form and are able to construct their own examples. A top 10 list of smack lines was published in an issue of Journals of the Virtual Geographic League, the official newsletter of the Virtual World Stores. 16 The fact that there is a top ten list itself shows just how recognizable smack is as a form of interaction. It also illustrates how easy it is for players to recontextualize this form of speech, or use it in situations where it is not normally used. Here is the list as it was published in the newsletter:

Authors: Tew, Chad.
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A Challenge to the Duel
14
Capet’s laughter sounded hollow. "I’ll catch it on the replay. I warned him
that you Capellan bastards are sneaky."
Justin nodded. "That we are, Capet, but you’ll never understand the true
depth of our brilliance in that department."
14
Then Justin engages Philip Capet in battle. Here Justin is initiating verbal contact with his
opponent before the battle. Justin respects the ability of his opponent. He lures Capet out
of hiding through speech. This allows him to sneak up on his opponent and score a
victory. The verbal duel is always followed by an encounter on the battlefield. Smack has
a dialogic quality to it in that it allows players to show their knowledge of other texts,
produce speech that conforms to the verbal genre, and relate the talk to the combat genre
in the BattleTech product line. Players have to make their verbal duels fit to the other
voices they have experienced in their socialization as pilots.
Virtual World encourages smack talk. The company condones it, uses it to attract
attention and trains pilots through example. For instance, Virtual World advertises smack
talk as an asset on its Red Planet forum on the Internet: "Use the Forum to talk smack, set
up games with local players, or share a Martian Football game plan."
15
Moreover, pilots
who have been initiated into the ways of BattleTech recognize it as a form and are able to
construct their own examples. A top 10 list of smack lines was published in an issue of
Journals of the Virtual Geographic League, the official newsletter of the Virtual World
Stores.
16
The fact that there is a top ten list itself shows just how recognizable smack is as
a form of interaction. It also illustrates how easy it is for players to recontextualize this
form of speech, or use it in situations where it is not normally used. Here is the list as it
was published in the newsletter:


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